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Expand chart
Data: College Reaction; Note: ±3.4 margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the last two months, Bernie Sanders has surged 20 points among college students to become the group's clear 2020 favorite, according to a new College Reaction/Axios poll.

Why it matters: The numbers reflect the extent to which young Democratic voters are embracing socialism and rejecting moderate choices.

By the numbers: While his pitch to voters has remained constant, Sanders has continuously gained traction among college students, rising from 15.5% in September to 22.5% in December and now 42.3%.

  • It has been Sanders, not moderate candidates, appearing to win peel-off support as competitors like Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker have dropped out of the race.
  • An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll this week laid bare just how weak support is for moderate candidates among young Democratic voters. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents 45 and under:
  1. Sanders - 54%
  2. Warren - 16%
  3. Bloomberg - 8%
  4. Biden - 6%
  5. Buttigieg, Klobuchar - 5%

Flashback: Recent polling shows that 70% of millennials would vote for a socialist, compared to 36% of baby boomers and 33% of the Silent Generation.

Methodology: The poll was conducted Feb. 17 from a representative sample of 820 college students with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.

College Reaction’s polling is conducted using a demographically representative panel of college students from around the country. The surveys are administered digitally and use college e-mail addresses as an authentication tool to ensure current enrollment in a four-year institution. The target for the general population sample was students currently enrolled in accredited 4-year institutions in the United States.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to accept the recommendation.

DHS temporarily suspends use of horse patrol in Del Rio

U.S. Border Patrol agents watch as Haitian immigrant families cross the Rio Grande from Mexico into Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday temporarily suspended the use of horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas a DHS spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: The suspension comes after images showing border patrol agents whipping at and charging their horses at migrants surfaced earlier in the week, prompting widespread criticism of the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the border.

Southwest drought is worst on record, NOAA finds

In a stark new report, a team of NOAA and independent researchers found the 2020-2021 drought across the Southwest is the worst in the instrumental record, which dates to 1895.

Why it matters: They also concluded that global warming is making it far more severe, primarily by increasing average temperatures, which boosts evaporation.

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